Today, we catch up with Amina Hussein, ESPN coordinating producer for NBA Countdown. Amina took some time out of her hectic NBA Western Conference Finals schedule to discuss what she loves about her ESPN NBA job, her favorite moment at work and what a typical show day is like for her.
How would you describe your ESPN NBA job?
I would describe my role on NBA as exciting and challenging. Let me take you inside: During the last round of the playoffs, the NBA production team was in the control room getting ready for TV. Friday: [Chicago Bulls guard] Derrick Rose hit a game-winner, the control room erupts. The next day, [Washington Wizards forward] Paul Pierce hits one, [he said] “I called GAME!” The control room goes crazy. The next day, [Cleveland Cavaliers forward] LeBron James hits one. Keep in mind, this is our job but as an NBA production unit we are all fans. I think some of the crew lost their voices after three game-winners three days in a row! It was fantastic. The challenge as a production unit in those moments is to regain composure and get ready to produce live TV.
What is typical show day like for you?
It includes a lot of calls with everyone, at every level, in Bristol. We have meetings with talent and staff, we watch elements, we’re communicating and coordinating with the game trucks. And, we’re watching a lot of hoops!
Who are some of the colleagues that help you get your job done?
A cast of thousands! Countdown producer Lisa James, segment producer Alvin Anol and my L.A.-based associate producer Brandon Lowe. Plus, our Bristol-based staff of associate prodcuers: Terrell Bouza, Jesse Arendt, Sidd Sinha and Rachel Sampson. Then L.A.-based directors and associate directors: Matt Sellars, Ty Frison and Jill Krebs. Also, Bruce Bernstein and his NBA Tonight Content Associates. There are a lot of different people and departments that we rely on to get the job done, from the feature unit and creative services/post production to programming and travel, the list goes on and on.
What’s your best moment at work?
When we are live on the air with NBA Countdown, that’s the moment when all of the preparation and planning pays off. This is my third year working on the NBA and I still get an adrenaline rush right before each show.
What is your favorite part of the NBA Playoffs?
Every game has meaning, teams are playing to advance in the NBA Playoffs so the intensity is at a much higher level than the regular-season. It’s literally Survival of the Fittest. The competition at this level makes better television and creates more compelling story lines.
Who’s your NBA team?
In my ‘PA’ voice. . . “Straight from Oracle Arena in OAKLAND CALIFORNIA – YOUR GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS…SPLASH”